Verulam ladies out to steal the limelight from the men

Verulam Reallymoving's Laura Moody at the 2017 Fete du Velo in Redbourn.

Verulam Reallymoving's Laura Moody at the 2017 Fete du Velo in Redbourn. - Credit: Archant

The debut success of Verulam Reallymoving Racing Team made some in the British cycling world sit up and take notice. But Liz McKie is determined that this year it is the girls rather than the men who are grabbing the headlines.

Verulam Reallymoving's Charlotte Wilde.

Verulam Reallymoving's Charlotte Wilde. - Credit: Archant

She is the manager of the ladies section of the team which were formed last year as an offshoot of Verulam Cycling Club.

And as the men racked up wins and podium places, the more modestly-sized ladies section used the year as a way of adapting to a race environment.

She said: “There were six of us last year and we’re up to nine this, with ages ranging from 11-year-old up to masters.

“Last season was really about gaining an understanding of the various types of races that were available for women in the region.

“This was the first season that any of us had raced and we weren’t familiar with the local races or leagues.

“But as we have a greater number this year we would like to have more regular attendance and better success.

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“I’m really looking forward to the season and to a team who can support each other at races.

“We can learn a lot from our men’s team and how they work together, though I am looking forward of stealing some of the limelight from them because they had far too much last year.”

Finding the races in the first place can be half the battle but opportunities are increasing.

McKie said: “The circuit is full of very supportive women doing their best to promote cycling and encourage others into the sport.

“The camaraderie is far beyond what I ever anticipated.

“I found a lot of events were cancelled last year due to worries over numbers which makes organisers reluctant to host races.

“So the best thing we can do to help is get out and race. The more events we fill, the more likely organisers are to put them on.”

VRM are always on the look out for more numbers although McKie says it does take a certain level of commitment to race.

“It’s not like running where you can take it easy and jog round if your having a bad day,” she said.

“If you can’t keep up you’ll be off the back of the peloton and it can be a lonely ride back.

“But my advice is to stick at it. The first races will be tough and don’t be surprised if you are dropped, but the more you do it the more you’ll get used to the changes in pace and get stronger.

“If you every thought about racing, but been worried that you are not got enough, just get out and give it a try.

“It’s hard to describe the buzz that you get but after a few races most people are hooked.”